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The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending April 25 in the U.S. fell by 34,000 to 262,000 from 296,000 in the previous week, beating expectations for a rise by 4,000.
It was the lowest reading since April 2000.
The previous week's figure was revised down from 295,000.
Initial jobless claims remained below 300,000 the eighth straight week.